A busy start to a busy week.
At 11 a.m. today, eight of the teachers the state Board of Regents have chosen as the state’s best will meet with reporters at the State Education Building at 89 Washington Ave. to meet with reporters about why they disagree with the boards recent changes to the evaluation system. Here’s NYSUT’s response to the changes. We will be tweeting about this event live, so keep your #nysut on for this event and:
- The state Senate begins holding hearings on teacher discipline. NYSUT is scheduled to speak about 11.
- Tonight health care professionals gather for final preparations for their advocacy day tomorrow with lawmakers.
- Thursday the Oneonta chapter of UUP, Oneonta TA and other unions rally at 5 p.m. in Muller Plaza Oneonta against the budget cuts, to extend the millionaires tax and support workers’ rights. If you live within driving distance, please join us.
Speaking of cuts, someone in Albany has started robo-calls to push for a property tax cap. You need to contact your lawmaker to oppose tax caps.
Looking back on the week that was, AFT President Randi Weingarten, among many others, is deeply troubled by New York Times article about Bill Gates’ funding to push alternatives to union orthodoxies. As a former daily news reporter and now advocacy journalist, it’s more than unsettling that many of the Washington analysts who interpret education issues for journalists are being bankrolled by the Gates Foundation. The Times checked tax returns and found the foundation spent $373 million on education in 2009, the latest year for which its tax returns are available, and devoted $78 million to advocacy — quadruple the amount spent on advocacy in 2005. Over the next five or six years, Mr. Golston said, the foundation expects to pour $3.5 billion more into education, up to 15 percent of it on advocacy.
On a personal front, I’m going to one of the schools closing due to budget cuts tomorrow. Students, parents, educators will bear witness to one of the last school concerts. It’s quite the reality check on the pain of the budget cuts, and I can’t help but wonder about the funds being used to pick apart public education, rather than support it.